Dice’s IPO Raises $ 204 Million For Oral Drug R&D To Compete With Biologics

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Biologics deliver all the punch, treating a wide range of immunologic disorders for patients while generating successful sales for pharmaceutical companies. But these large molecules come in the form of injections or infusions. Dice Therapeutics believes it can meet patient preference for pills by developing small molecule drugs capable of reaching large molecule targets. The concept won over investors, allowing preclinical biotechnology to raise $ 204 million in a larger IPO.

Dice Therapeutics, which changed its name from Dice Molecules before the IPO, originally planned to offer 10 million shares in a range of $ 15 to $ 17 apiece. The company raised the number of shares in the deal to 12 million and offered them at the top of the projected price range. Dice’s shares began trading on the Nasdaq on Wednesday under the ticker symbol “DICE”.

In its IPO filing, Dice notes that biologic drugs developed in the late 1990s and early 2000s transformed the treatment of many immunological disorders. But the company added that improving the effectiveness of these drugs and how often they need to be dosed is still a barrier for patients who do not want chronic injections or infusions. Developing oral versions of these drugs has been its own challenge, as large molecules such as antibodies cannot be absorbed in the gut.

Dice’s proprietary technology, called Delscape, discovers, designs and develops small molecules that she believes have the potential to modulate protein-protein interactions as efficiently as large molecules. The company is developing drugs that target diseases that have already been validated for biologic drugs, but the company aims to hit those targets with its small molecules.

The Lead Dice S011806 drug candidate is designed to block interleukin-17, a pro-inflammatory signaling molecule. Biologics that target this target include two antibodies: Cosentyx by Novartis and Taltz by Eli Lilly. The drugs, each approved for multiple immunological disorders, generated approximately $ 4 billion and $ 1.8 billion in revenue, respectively, last year. In preclinical research, Dice said his small molecule was able to selectively block IL-17 forms and also match the anti-inflammatory activity of a monoclonal antibody. Now the company is aiming to see how its animal research translates to humans.

In July, Dice filed a clinical trial application seeking permission to begin human testing of S011806 in the UK. The company said in the IPO filing that it plans to launch a Phase 1 study in healthy volunteers, followed by a Phase 1c clinical trial in patients with psoriasis. The Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis programs are in the early stages of development and drug candidates have yet to be named. Other drug targets include interleukin-23, tumor necrosis factor alpha, neonatal Fc receptor, and thymic stromal lymphopoietin.

Dice keeps immunology at the center of the company’s internal programs. Expansion into other therapies is done through research partnerships. In 2015, Dice entered into an immuno-oncology research partnership with Sanofi which gives the phama giant an exclusive option to license, develop and market the compounds discovered by Dice. If Sanofi chooses to develop compounds discovered under the alliance, the French company could be required to pay its partner up to $ 200 million related to the development and regulatory stages, as well as royalties on the sales of a marketed product.
Dice said in the IPO filing that this research has identified several potential drug candidates, and that an investigational new drug application is expected by the end of 2023.

A partnership signed by Dice with Genentech in 2017 did not go so well. The alliance covered targets selected by the Roche subsidiary. Details on these targets were not disclosed, but apparently Genentech hasn’t seen anything from Dice that they like. As of the end of 2020, Genentech had not requested additional research services and had not selected any of the client options available under the contract, Dice said in the filing.

Prior to the IPO, Dice had raised around $ 200 million, according to the prospectus. The main shareholder after the IPO is RA Capital Management, owning 11.1% of the company, followed by the 8.9% stake in Northpond Ventures.

As of June 30, Dice declared a cash position of $ 42.5 million. Combined with the proceeds of the IPO, the company plans to spend around $ 90 million on its core program, S011806, and an additional $ 20 million on its programs to fight inflammatory bowel disease and pulmonary fibrosis. idiopathic. The rest of the IPO money will go to other research and development.

After the IPO, Tyra Bio aims to make R&D on anticancer drugs a “SNAP”

Tyra Biosciences, a developer of cancer drugs, raised $ 172.8 million during its IPO to bring its most advanced programs into clinical trials. After initially planning to offer 9 million shares at a range of $ 14 to $ 16 each, the company found that investor interest was strong enough to support the increase in the number of shares to 10.8 million. , which were offered at the high end of the projected price range. The shares of Tyra, based in Carlsbad, California, are listed on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “TYRA”.

Despite the availability of new targeted cancer treatments, the response rate and duration of currently available therapies may be limited by drug resistance and other shortcomings, Tyra said in her IPO filing. Tyra’s technology, called SNAP, produces small molecules specially designed to fight acquired drug resistance.

According to the prospectus, SNAP effectively identifies and selectively targets vulnerabilities in mutant proteins where genetic alterations have eliminated or reduced the effectiveness of targeted therapies. These “SNAPshots” provide insight into the structure of the binding sites of its molecules, showing scientists at Tyra how common genetic alterations lead to acquired resistance to existing drugs. With this information on the genetic alterations most likely to cause drug resistance, the company is designing drug candidates that avoid these mutations but still block the intended target.

“Through this process, we identify product candidates that may have the potency and selectivity to, if approved, be used as important treatment options to address critical unmet needs,” Tyra said in the prospectus. .

Tyra’s primary goal is to develop small molecules that block fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFRs), a family of proteins that, when mutated, cause cancer to grow. The Lead Tyra TYRA-300 program is designed to block FGFR3; the original goal of this compound is bladder cancer. The company plans to submit an investigational new drug application in mid-2022. Other drugs in the pipeline include compounds targeting FGFR2, FGFR3, RET and FGFR4.

Prior to the IPO, Tyra had raised $ 157.2 million, the company said in the IPO filing, most recently a $ 106 million Series B funding announced in March. The main shareholders are RA Capital Management and Boxer Capital, each with a 15.3% stake after the IPO. As of June 30, the company reported having $ 135.2 million in cash. In the IPO filing, Tyra said she plans to spend $ 18.9 million on the development of the TYRA-300 until the Phase 1 portion of the clinical trial is completed. phase 1/2 planned. Another $ 19.4 million is set aside for the development of the FGFR2 program, also through the completion of phase 1; approximately $ 20.8 million will be used to advance the FDFR3 program for achondroplasia in the clinic. The remainder of the IPO cash will be used for the discovery and preclinical development of other drug candidates.

Procept and its surgical robot score $ 164 million for their stock market debut

Procept BioRobotics, a company that obtained FDA marketing clearance for its surgical robot earlier this year, has raised $ 163.9 million to support its ongoing marketing efforts. The Redwood City, California-based company was able to increase the size of its IPO. After initially planning to offer 5.5 million shares in a range of $ 22 to $ 24 each, Procept ended up offering more than 6.5 million shares at $ 25 apiece. These stocks trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “PRCT”.

The Procept robot, called the AquaBeam Robotic System, was developed to enable minimally invasive urologic surgery, removing prostate tissue in patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH. Development of the technology began in 2009, according to the IPO filing. Features of the robotic system include real-time imaging; ultrasound imaging integrated with planning software that helps the surgeon develop a tissue sampling plan specific to the patient’s anatomy; robotic execution of the intervention under the supervision of the surgeon; and the ablation of unwanted tissue using a heatless water jet that pulsates at almost the speed of sound.

AquaBeam was first marketed abroad; the FDA granted marketing authorization for the class II medical device in March, according to the IPO filing. At the end of June, Procept said it had installed 124 of its systems worldwide and 73 in the United States. So far, AquaBeam has been used to treat over 5,500 patients. Procept achieved sales of $ 7.7 million in 2020, an increase of more than 26% from the previous year. Sales continue to grow. Revenue for the first half of this year was nearly double the company’s total sales in 2020. With the proceeds from the IPO, Procept said it plans to spend $ 45 million to hire more staff. sales and marketing; An additional $ 25 million is earmarked for product development and R&D.

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